We stayed overnight in Masbate City, in a small but cozy and quiet place called the MG Hotel. Blair had gone back to Filminera base after the Baleno visit, and so Flo and Cesar and I finished off with Liceo de Masbate later in the afternoon. By the time we got to the MG I was knackered and wasn’t even interested in going around the city. I figured I could do that the next day.
Right now I was feeling everything you would feel if you’d been up since 4 in the morning, gone through Terminal 2 in your slippers because they wouldn’t let you in with your steel toe boots, traveled in a speeding van from Legaspi to Sorsogon and being greeted by a BF tarpaulin, having to cross three gangplanks of varying widths, lengths and inclines while trying to balance knapsack, overnight bag and a third bag with your steel toe boots, to sit for almost two hours in a boat across the choppy waters where a few miles away a passenger boat had capsized in a squall off Dimasalang, Masbate.
In the morning I felt much better, ready for the visits to the Liceo de san Juan in Milagros, and the Immaculate Conception Academy in Balud.
All of the schools, including the two we visited the day before, already had computer facilities, but they were ancient Pentium Systems with huge CRT monitors, mostly donations from failed internet cafes. Only the Liceo de Masbate had internet access on its entire network. The teachers in the other schools said they had to go to Masbate City when they needed to get on the Internet. As with Baleno and Masbate, we were received with much warmth and food. There was food for us everywhere we went, it was almost embarrassing.
My worry was the state of some of the stretches of road from Milagros to Balud. The municipality of Balud is 47km (just under 30 miles) away from Masbate City. The national highway was paved but only around 60% of the way to Balud was good riding. The rest of the road will give you the feeling that you’re in one of Masbate’s famous rodeos.
When we got back to Filminera compound it was discussed that we could go to Balud over the water instead of on land. If we chose the latter, we would have to detach the hard disks from the towers prior to the trip, and then re-assemble when on site.